- PM is visiting these states for second visit in a little over two weeks
- PM Modi will first visit Assam and then move to West Bengal
- Assam and West Bengal are scheduled to go to polls in April-May
A conspiracy is being hatched to malign India, and especially Indian tea, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said, citing "some documents". Reaching out to the tea garden workers of Assam and West Bengal, he said they will seek answers from political parties that are allegedly backing those behind such machinations.
He reiterated that Assam was known for tea and that the red tea of Sonitpur, where he speaking today, was unparalleled. "I personally know about it," he said, adding there attempts were being made to run down the state's most famous product.
"Some documents have come out that reveal that some people outside India are trying to malign India's tea and the nation's image associated with it," he said today. "Every tea garden, every tea worker will seek answers from those political parties behind the conspirators."
Delhi police had a few days ago lodged a case to investigate the role an alleged "toolkit" had played in instigating criticism against the government over the issue of farmer protest. Over the past past few days, several global celebrities like pop artiste Rihanna and climate change activist Greta Thunberg have expressed support for the protests in Delhi via social media. The said toolkit, allegedly advised people on how to show express support for the farmers and, the police had claimed, even mentioned yoga and tea.
The Prime Minister referred to the "conspiracy" in the context of the budgetary allocation of Rs 1,000 crore for a welfare scheme for the plantation workers. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had also apportioned Rs 34,000 crore over three years for road projects in the northeastern state.
PM Modi today laid the foundation of two medical colleges at Biswanath and Charaideo and launched "Asom Mala", a highways-and-roads project.
"Since independence for seven decades Assam had six medical collages. But in the past five years, we have started to build six more medical colleges. With this, Assam will get 1,600 MBBS doctors every year," the Prime Minister said.
"There is no dearth of talent in villages and far-flung areas. I have a daring dream of each state having at least one medical college and a technical institution imparting education in the local language," he said, promising to set up such institutions in Assam after the polls.
He said this will improve medical services in remote areas as more and more doctors will be able to reach out to people in their mother tongue and understand their problems.
The Prime Minister also said that Asom Mala will gel with the national Bharatmala project that seeks to connect over 500 districts of the country with four-lane highways.
Today's meeting venue of Sonitpur's Dhekiajuli was significant since no Prime Minister has ever visited the historic place where, during the British Raj, 13 persons were martyred during the Quit India movement. Recalling their sacrifice, the Prime Minister said, "In this land, people of Assam defeated the aggressors. Today I got the opportunity to pay respect to this historic land of Dhekiajuli." He quoted legendary Assamese composer and singer Bhupen Hazarika in this context to say that "today the lions of India are awakening".
Later in the day, he left for Haldia, West Bengal.
This is the second time in a little over two week that the Prime Minister is visiting the two poll-bound states. He was in Kolkata on January 23 for the Netaji event on Parakram Diwas. On the same day, he had also visited Sibsagar district to hand out land ownership titles to over a lakh indigenous people of the northeastern state.